Thursday, June 25, 2009

Risotto NZ Cuisine style

Hullo from the land of the long white cloud. We are enjoying our stay enormously.

Kerry made a wonderful risotto the other night - in the microwave but it was the best, creamiest risotto I have ever had. She said she requested the recipe from Cuisine, the NZ foodie mag. Here it is:

2 tbs, 50g butter
1 1/4 cups (250-300g) Aborio rice (or Vialone or Carnaroli)
2 1/2 - 3 cups well flavoured stock
another 2 tbs butter
50g freshly grated Parmesan
200-300 freshly prepared vegetables, seafood etc. (Kerry added baked pumpkin she'd baked in small pieces with fresh herbs - half she mushed in and the rest add whole when serving into bowls.) She also recommends mushrooms and asparagus as additives.

1. Heat the stock.

2 Put the rice into a 2 litre microwave safe bowl and top with butter. Do not cover. Cook on High for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring from time to time until the rice is evenly coated and shiny.

3. Pour half the hot stock onto the rice, stir well and then cook on High for 5 minutes or until all stock is absorbed.

4. Remove from the microwave and whisk or beat with a wooden spoon. You will find what sauce there is beginning to thicken.

5. Pour on half the remaining stock, mix in well and cook on High for 3 minutes or until the stock is pretty much absorbed.

6. Whisk again. Depending on how the risotto tastes decide how much longer to cook for. Add remaining stock and cook again, testing every minute or so.

7. Polish the risotto into 'glossy readiness' by stirring in second amount of butter and the Parmesan.

Stir in vegies etc. Serves 4 as first course, 2 as a main. Serve warm rather than hot.

Craftwise have seen some interesting flax work. I am finding however that a lot of the craft items are very similar to what is happening in Australia - toys, baby wear etc. I do like the NZ screen-printed fabrics though and saw a rather nice screen-printed wide charcoal merino scarf with black NZ birds on bottom and a baubly black trim. Expensive though.

The love tree lives again

Recently the love sign fell off the gum tree at home and the 'e' shattered. Yesterday we went into 'Soul' the shop in Hamilton where John bought it for us and luckily the lady had a spare 'e' she was able to sell us. I will take it carefully home with us.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Off to the land of the long white cloud...

Only four more sleeps until we take off for New Zealand to meet little Maia for the first time and see all the family again. Fingers crossed we don't get quarantined in Auckland because of swiney flu! Apart from catching up with everyone I am also looking forward to checking out the craft scene in New Zealand to get some new ideas for more millymaking ventures.

I've only been doing a little bit of sewing since the market - finishing off gifts to take with us (my bag is bursting!) Have spent some time in the kitchen though and have made some rather yummy mandarin, orange & whiskey marmalade to take with us. Hopefully the boys and girls in blue will let it into NZ, along with the tubs of Nuttelex for Kerry!

Here's the recipe:

Mandarin, Orange and Whiskey Marmalade

6 mandarins
2 large oranges
7 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
6 cups water
1/4 cup whiskey

1. Peel the skin from mandarins and cut into fine strips. Remove and reserve the seeds and then finely chop mandarin flesh. Cut unpeeled oranges in half. Remove and reserve the seeds then finely slice the oranges. Place orange and mandarin seeds in muslin and tie to secure then place in a large bowl, together with the mandarin flesh, orange slices and mandarin rinds. Add 6 cups of water, then cover and stand at room temperature overnight.

2. Transfer mixture to stainless steel saucepan, bring to the boil, uncovered over low-medium heat. Simmer, covered for 45 minutes or until rind is tender. Add sugar and lemon juice to the mixture. Cook, stirring over medium heat until sugar dissolves then bring to the boil.

3. Boil marmalade rapidly uncovered for 20 minutes or until mixture reaches setting point.

If unsure it is 'setting' I see no shame in adding a bit of jamsetta which always does the trick and is better than burning the mix...

Leave to settle for 10 minutes then add whiskey before pouring the marmalade into clean sterilised jars and sealing with lids etc. Makes 7 cups.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Post market sale!

I want to move on to new designs and ideas so the following items are now reduced. This is your opportunity to snap up a bargain.

These bags are now selling for $50 (plus postage if required). They are fully lined with an interior pocket and have a magnetic snap closure. They look smallish but this is deceptive as I manage to easily fit in mine: an embarrassingly bulging wallet (every loyalty store card known to womankind), mobile phone, makeup purse, camera, umbrella, comb, notebook, lipstick etc. Bag is approximately 33cm high(or 55cm with handles) and 31cm wide. Handle length makes them easy to sling over a shoulder. Send me an email if you are interested and we can arrange payment method, delivery etc.

Flowery bag (lovely fabric):

Chenilled fabric bag (my first ever foray into the world of chenilling - fun but v. labour intensive!):

Interesting black and white fabric (furnishing weight) bag - not really a lopsided shape as it looks here!:

Black with a little bit of Japanese fabric:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy millymaker

Making things is such a strong urge for me; it gives my such pleasure. Selling thing I make, while not necessary, is rather nice too. Really enjoyed the the Art & Design market today and I am so impressed with how well it was run. Thank you Shannon, Bec and Holly. Lots of interesting products on sale and lovely creative people making all sorts of nice things. Nice trades too for other handmade goodies! Husband is impressed (and I think a bit surprised) that I made so many sales. Thank you Sue, Shauna and Noella for adding to the millymaker mix. I am looking forward to the next market - and have all sorts of new ideas and plans. I am not sure where this millymaking venture will take me, but I hope to continue making things and promoting others who like making things too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A two book return of the lurgy

This is the view outside my window as I type this. Misty rainy late afternoon. Ye gads - I am sick of winter (already) and the flu season. Am on to my third bout of some sort of viral thing - not quite so bad this time but have stayed home two days to make sure it goes away. Have read two books - The Household Guide to Dying (a novel) which made me a bit maudlin but was a great read, followed by The Knitting Circle, which is more about dying and grief. Hmm - my husband thinks I should change my choice of reading matter.

This afternoon I got up and made some love tree cards to give away free to customers of my millymaker stall on Sunday. Under the love tree is the spot in the garden where Alan and I were married three and a half years ago. The 'love letters' were a wedding present from John and Kerry. I love looking outside and seeing them, slightly weathered now, on the big gum tree. Sometimes they fall off and I have to nail them up again.
Remembering you with love today Tom...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy birthday Lilli!

Hope you are having a lovely day and hope it is a fantastic year ahead. 24! Love and kisses xxx

Monday, June 1, 2009

A little bit chilly chilli

My gorgeous son has had a bit of a laugh at my expense. He says that if I can post a picture of a handful of apples from my tired old apple trees I can at least put up a photo of his magnificent crop of chillies and capsicums. So ta-da - here you go Johno (in balmy Hamilton, NZ where we will be in just 19 days time).

First day of winter today and it's very chilly in Hobart. Temperature now just 7 degrees and it's the middle of the day. Will don the coat, scarf and gloves and venture out to Spotlight soon in my lunch hour for more sewing supplies.

I am not mentioning the 'M' word today - but only 5 days to go.